3 Tips To Learn English Faster While Living Abroad
Learning a new language is like playing chess with your brain. Make your smartest moves and you will achieve checkmate for first. Whether psychological studies could confirm following opinions or not, my opinions are only based on personal experiences.
Quick recap about the author: a 25-year-old Italian guy in San Francisco who is attending a Digital Marketing English class while working as a Digital Marketing Intern for a startup named Instanza Inc.
As a student abroad, my goal is to learn as much as I can. As a competitive worker, my challenge is to improve both my speaking and writing skills faster than the ones who started from zero as me. As a young blogger, my hope is to share helpful tips with anyone interested in experiencing a new English-based environment.
1) Learn Phrasal Adverbs Through Journalistic Articles, Social Media Posts And Business Emails
When it comes to writing, English sentences have a fascinating rhythm. Learn as much as you can from others’ writings and you will enjoy the Anglo-Saxon music. Your hardest task is to get rid of literal translations.
Reading newspapers is a good way to get the best out of journalist’s select writing style. It shows you how to wrap up an article, a social media post or a business email. Besides, texting with your English-speaking friends let you learn useful tips for day-by-day conversations. Nowadays, you need to know how to properly write on WhatsApp, WeChat or SOMA Messenger to float in the digital ocean.
Analyze any text you encounter along the way — articles, tweets, advertising headlines. Be a linguistic engineer. Divide sentences in parts and catch the logic behind them. Relate each phrasal verb to its context and keep that relation in mind to replicate it in your next writing. Prefer the active voice, keep it simple and above all shorten your sentences.
Use simple web tools to skyrocket your learning process. Saving Google Translate on your bookmarks bar is just the first step. Look up specific terms on Google News to quickly understand, for instance, how a phrasal verb is mainly used in the current English. Update on a daily basis an Excel-like sheet to save all the most-used expression related to your job in order to embrace its jargon. Run the Grammarly extension for your browser to detect errors and enhance your vocabulary. Organize interesting people into Facebook & Twitter Lists to learn how English-speaking users communicate through Social Media.
Just because it’s a 140-character message it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn anything from it.
2) Push Yourself Outside Your Comfort Zone
Facing different cultural environments is not easy by a long shot. When the homesickness comes up, one’s ability to experience new things could fade away. But being locked up in your room and avoid any new social context is not an option. Speaking & writing all the day with your countrymen is equal to stay in your country. Face it. Your body will be abroad but your mind won’t. So don’t give up and embrace the diversity.
Hang out with locals and people from all over the world. Ask them questions. Do not draw attention solely to yourself. You are not living abroad just to let the world know what your favorite soccer team is. Be curious and look at the bigger picture. You are living abroad to know how things work in other countries and find out how people’s way of thinking can be so different from yours. Listen to any ideas to open your mind.
Once you had set up the right mindset, join different social context and boost your English.
First, attend an international school to understand basic grammar rules and mainly to listen how Europeans, Latinos and Asians speak in English — it will be critical for you to recognize so many different accents. Second, get an Internship to experience the office life and work closely with people who know how to properly speak & write for professional purposes. Third, do group sports or sign up in a gym — it will help you to keep your body active while learning an insane amount of phrasal verbs. Hence, go to a bar to drink something with strangers and let the serendipity drive your conversations abroad.
In one sentence. Get the best out of everything.
3) Let Alcohol Lead The Way
No matter where you come from, the first step is to overcome shyness. For most of beginners, being unable to express their deepest thoughts leads to frustration. Maybe at home you pretend to be an overwhelming public speaker or a heartwarming writer. But when you face a new language and words don’t come out what you show off is just a tiny amount of your actual intelligence. Knowing how to solve the global environmental crisis is worthless if you express that idea with a 5-year-old linguistic background. You will seem less smart than you really are.
The old-fashioned way to work that out is to engage in a relationship with the alcohol. As any relationship, it requires balance. Your goal is to overcome shyness — not to be socially repellent. Keep it in mind.
Pirates used to drink grog to loosen up their minds while sailing. Russians drink brave amounts of Vodka to warm themselves up when it’s cold outside. You will drink to boost your personality and cut in any conversation that could improve your speaking skills. Feeling more confident dramatically helps you to experiment with a new way of communicating thoughts. Reading or listening won’t be enough. Use all the new words you learn along the way in real conversations and they will be more likely to be assimilated into the thought stream of your memory bank.
Learning how to speak by speaking is no more challenging than learning how to have sex by having sex. You could watch any gold-standard pornographic video but you won’t figure out how to approach partners’ body until you will try it for real. It might take a while to tweak your skills. But constantly failing & trying again is part of the learning process.
Get some beers, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and push yourself beyond the shyness’ limit.